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Moses,

There is a 2003 Chevy Tracker with what looks like a beautiful body locally for $500.00. The immediate problems? A shock mount has disintegrated, and a rust hole in the front frame member. Would this vehicle be worth the work to get it back on the road if the sheet metal is as good as it looks? The interior also looks very clean and in great shape, obviously a well cared for 4 door that just fell to Vermont salt.

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BadDriver4x4...I'd repair the frame and bracket...At $500, this is well worth the effort.  I'm a weldor.  When reading your account, I was grabbing for my plasma cutter, fresh metal and either TIG or MIG machines.

The bracket for the shock could be cut wide from an intact recycled donor vehicle and carefully welded in place of the missing bracket.  This could be done precisely, whether you do it or a body shop, and the end result would be very satisfactory if that is the extent of the damage.

I'm a strong proponent of recycling and rejuvenating or restoring vehicles.  Relatively intact vehicles should be rebuilt and not discarded.  There's enough of that consumerism around!  If the frame were crumpled and out of alignment, I might be more hesitant, but isolated Vermont salt damage should be repairable.  Check closely, though, for frame rust from within; that kind of rust is dangerous and insidious.

Moses

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